Posted by Lenlo on 10 April 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Dororo

Hello everyone and welcome to the Spring season! While we are still preparing our First Impressions and picking what interests us, carryovers from last season are picking back up. That of course includes Dororo, which left off on a huge first cour finale. Lets jump in!

Before we get into the meat of this episode, I want to once more talk production. This was, honestly, rather weak. With lots of sliding stills and generally dull fights. With your main combatant being a giant statue, its natural that the fight would be slow. However multiple times in the combat it felt like nothing was happening, when they were fighting for their lives. I think this is a mix of the premise simply not being great for a fight, and MAPPA’s 2nd Cour curse. You see, MAPPA has a curse with their shows where production tends to fall off in the 2nd Cour. I don’t know if that’s just their inability to plan, or if its something else. What has helped Dororo a lot I suspect is that Tezuka Production’s have been working on it as well, lightening MAPPA’s load. Yet even still, this slipped through.

Now normally this is where I get into the actual story of the episode. However, first I need to go on a slight tirade. To put it succinctly, why the hell is Hyakki’s mother Oku still alive?! Seriously, it was a definitive and fantastic ending to the first cour! To leave her alive makes me, the viewer, feel cheated! Is Dororo saving her for another emotional outburst at the big finale? To have her love and be forgiven by Hyakkimaru? Considering how his entire family just abandoned him, as a unit, in the face of an army I hope not. It just wouldn’t work, and it would clash with Dororo/Hyakki’s relationship of a makeshift family. That Oku lives is a slap in the face to the viewer and in my opinion, anything Dororo does with her will be cheap. Her narrative role is done. Let her go.

As for the rest of the story itself, I get what Dororo was going for, but it didn’t work. It’s like they had their priorities mixed up. The theme of mothers, accepting what you have and not resenting what others have was fine. On the heels of Hyakki’s experience with his family, assuming his mother stayed dead, it was a good choice. It was a great chance to reaffirm/push Dororo and Hyakki as a family of choice. However Dororo spent to much time on the fight with the statue and not enough exploring its themes. Just throwing them up as they were and then moving on to the action set piece. It’s sad because the episodic content itself was fine. The idea could be a standalone episode, while still fitting into the greater themes/story of the series.

What I mean by that is the statue and the carver themselves. The episodic story of a demonic unfinished statue and its eternal carver slicing off faces is a good one. The Buddha can’t hunt people down so someone else must do so in its place. So while the demon is evil, the human/spirit serving it is doing most of the work. Then you have the added layer of the demon coming into being because of the carver themself. Whether they willed it into existence or it was already there matters not, the carver is the one who gave it form and power. Had Dororo more time to explore that character and that decision, I think the Thanosing at the end could have meant a lot more. As it is, we barely knew Okako and so had no real reason to care about her final fate.

Oh yeah, by the way, Okako being the carver was obvious from the start. I’m sure it was supposed to be that way, but the mid episode twist really wasn’t one at all. You could say it was well foreshadowed I suppose, if we were able to figure it out ahead of time. First off there was the blank face of the carver in the flashback. Hiding the identity is pointless unless the character is meant to appear later as a surprise. Then there is the whole theme of the face and Okako being able to change hers to the viewers loved one, plus a few other smaller hints. Like I said, its not terrible, because I am sure it was meant to be obvious. It just feels like a premise that would have done better as a 2-parter I feel. Really flex on Hyakki’s recent loss.

Finally, I want to talk about Dororo’s back tattoo, and why it exists at all. Like I get it, it’s another story point to drive Dororo to relevance in what is almost exclusively Hyakki’s story. But did we really need it? Some random mystery to go with Dororo’s already sad backstory? Is Hyakki’s parent’s leading an army to hunt him down while he recovers his body from demons not enough? Could we not fill a 2nd cour with that? I have hope that Dororo can fit it all together into a single cohesive story, I just don’t see the point to it though. Especially not if your keeping the Hyakki’s mother alive after her big scene. Your just adding another plot thread into an already packed narrative. Still, maybe they can fit it in naturally somehow. It’s really to early to tell, though I am concerned.

So all in all, how was this returning episode of Dororo? It was… serviceable? Disappointing even, and not because it was episodic. It feels like Dororo wasted a lot of potential this week. Going for 2 different things and committing to neither. Not achieving a grand opening fight for the 2nd cour nor a somber dramatic story to build off the mid-season finale. It’s a shame, as I was really looking forward to Dororo this season. It ended so well. But it sorta feels like it’s being torn in two different directions between Tezuka Productions and MAPPA. The sad thing is, right now, I have no idea whose is whose. I just hope we turn back to Hyakki’s family, as their drama is easily the most interesting story the series has.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar somedude says:

    Yeah, I agree this episode was rather subpar. I feel like pacing as whole was messed up from the beginning since they weren’t sure if this will be one cour or two cours. Hyakki got one body part back per episode at the beginning but now he hasn’t gotten anything back for five episodes straight :(

    As for the mother, yeah, it’s slightly surprising that she is still alive. But if my assumption about her becoming possessed by demons and Hyakki’s having to personally kill her for his body part become true, then I suppose she would still have a role in amplifying Hyakki’s suffering.

    The element I did find interesting from this episode is that Hyakkimaru seems to be more intent on slaying these demons than ever before. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hyakkimaru now wants to slay these demons less as a way to get his body parts back but more as a way to spite his family that rejected him. It could lead to some dark development down the road since there is constant reminder that Hyakki may end up becoming the very demons he fights against.

    Lastly, about that Dororo’s tattoo, I feel like it is needed to lend Dororo some plot relevance beyond Hyakki’s moral compass and sidekick. Plus, that was one of Dororo’s more important characteristics from the original manga so it would be hard to remove. While Daigo and Tahomaru would try to hunt Hyakki down, they probably wouldn’t be able to do much while Hyakki is away from their lands. That family drama requires some proper building up in order to lead to epic finale (just like the first cour)and we need some other plots in the meantime. Plus, given Dororo’s backstory, we knew Itachi is going to reappear in the second season as Dororo has a score of sorts to settle with him. If I have to guess, we will likely have a two parter of sort giving closure to Dororo’s personal story where that tattoo will come into play before moving onto the big finale with Hyakki, his family, and whatever demons that remain by then.

  2. Avatar SuperWooper says:

    The final fight against the Buddha felt like a video game QTE. Press B to stab statue in the eye, press A to jump away when it swings its sword at its own face, proceed to victory screen. Totally joyless.

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

8 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Dororo – 15 [The story of the scene from hell]

Fuck you Osamu Kobayashi. Your a terrible director and you ruin everything you touch. Welcome to another week of Dororo, where for once OPM isn’t the show I am most disappointed in. Lets dive in. Let’s cut right to the chase, Dororo looked like shit this week. And all the credit goes to Osamu Kobayashi, […]

Sarazanmai – 02 [I Want to Connect, but I Want to Take]

And the wild ride is here. In turn for cardboard zombies last week, our three kappa-who-are-pooped-out-by-someone-else have to fight cat zombies, an acid bee-themed amusement park, a person with a cat face who clearly reference Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lamb, weeds and a (yuri) kiss at the end of the rainbow. It’s […]

Fruits Basket (2019) – 02/03 [They’re All Animals! / Let’s Play Rich Man-Poor Man!]

I believe it’s safe to say that one of the main concern for this adaptation of Fruits Basket isn’t about the source, but more about whether or not the current staffs have what it takes to bring this classic to life (while at the same time pleases the original author, but that’s beside the point), […]

Mix – 02/03

Star Crossed is one of the oldest anime blogs left on the English-speaking internet, so we’re bound to have a few devotees of Mitsuru Adachi, that master of classic storytelling, among our readership. If you fall into that category, you might wonder why someone who has never read or watched Touch, his seminal work, has […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 3 [Sabito and Makomo]

Welcome to Kimetsu no Yaiba, the premier Saturday Morning Cartoon of the season! This time we burn through a training arc, meet some ghosts and learn the arcs end-goal. Lets jump in! Starting off, like always, the production. Yaiba does a great job here, like usual, looking fantastic. Assume you like digital effects that is. […]

Paranoia Agent – 13 [The Final Episode] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome all to the finale of Paranoia Agent! People grow up, Shounen Bat is defeated and absolutely nothing makes any sense. Lets dive in! Starting off, visually, it worked very well as a finale. Lots of awesome shots, action and moments throughout, all blending into just a joy to watch. Really, it just flowed well. […]

One Punch Man S2 – 2 [Human Monsters]

Breathe deep… Siiiiiiiiigh… Guess we are doing this. Strap in folks, because this is going to be a rough season of OPM. Let me start off, with a friendly warning. If your here for my usual attempts at constructive criticism and attempted multifaceted analysis, I apologize. There will be very little of that for these […]

Dororo – 14 [The Story of Sabame]

Another week, another episode of Dororo. This time we learn the mystery of Dororo’s back, meet a new demon and get a lot of parallels to their current overall situation. Lets jump in! Starting off, Dororo once again is a bit disappointing on the production front. There were a number of dull or sliding stills, […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 2 [Trainer Sakonji Urokodaki]

Welcome one and all to the 2019 Spring Season! My name is Lenlo, and I am Shounen Trash. This, is Kimetsu no Yaiba, now with cute demon sisters, mysterious old men the the high possibility of developing a drool fetish. Sounds weird? Good, lets jump in! First off, production. Its Ufotable, obviously Yaiba looks fantastic. […]

Latest Reviews

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]

Kemurikusa (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 79/100

Kemurikusa is your very definition of an overlooked gem, one that never really gain much discussion anywhere, but one that has a distinctive style from an up-and-coming auteur who has full control of his projects. Coming to Kemurikusa, all the attention it has came from the fact that it is created by TATSUKI, a mastermind […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 Anime Review – 87/100

Upon finishing this series, the only question on my mind was how many animators did Bones sacrifice on ONE’s altar to achieve this. Following their prior season, Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 continues Bones adaptation of webcomic and manga author ONE’s 4th work, Mob Psycho 100. ONE has also authored the critically acclaimed One Punch […]

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai Review – 84/100

Anime draws on many different media types in its endless search for properties to adapt, but manga is still the king of the bunch. And why not? It’s a distinctly Japanese art form, their main demographics have significant overlap, and manga’s panel-based layout means that some of the anime staff’s work is already done. Plenty […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru Anime Review – 93/100

Recently, sports anime have become a bit of a dying breed. Falling into the same hole as Mecha, aside from a passionate base audience, most are overlooked. There are the occasional hits like Haikyuu, Yuri on Ice, or Darling in the Franxx for Mecha, but those are few and far between, often taking years. Even […]

A quick and dirty review of Garo: Vanishing Line

What it claims to be about: A secret order of knights and alchemists, the Makai Knights and Alchemists, fight horrifying creatures called Hollows who prey on human weakness .Part of the media franchise spanning anime and live action shows, this iteration is set in modern metropolis and concerns the attempts of Sword, the strongest Makai […]

Planetes Anime Review – 84/100

If there is one thing I have lost watching seasonal anime, it is patience. Every week I expect something to happen, some kind of payoff, to make watching that week worth it. Luckily, Planetes as brought that back to me. Its depth of writing, characters, and general structure belay an anime of a different age. […]

Goblin Slayer Anime Review – 60/100

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]